On Friday night, students attending Geneva High School’s Black Light Dance will laugh, chat and listen to lots of loud music. They might even show off their moves on the dance floor.
But they will not “grind” with their dance partners, according to new rules set down by school administrators.
“We are not allowing back-to-front dancing anymore,” said Principal Tom Rogers. “We understand that this type of dancing is popular in the clubs, but Geneva High School is not a club, and we’re not going to create a club atmosphere at our dances.”
In a letter sent to parents Monday, Rogers defined “grinding” as a “sexually explicit” dance in which one partner stands behind the other while both are facing the same direction. The rear partner grasps the front partner by the hips or midsection and rubs his or her groin against the front partner’s backside. Sometimes the front partner bends over with his or her hands on the knees or floor, making the dance more sexually suggestive.
“Some students, when they dance back to front, don’t dance in a sexually suggestive manner. But in terms of enforcement, determining which couples are dancing back to front in an acceptable manner would become subjective. That’s why we’re not allowing any back-to-front dancing at all,” Rogers explained.
Officials also will start censoring disc jockeys’ play lists to remove bass-heavy music that encourages “grinding," he added.
Starting with Friday’s dance, all students attending a school dance will receive a wristband when they arrive. A chaperone or school administrator who sees students dancing inappropriately may remove students’ wristbands as an official warning. Students who are caught dancing unsafely or inappropriately after their wristbands have been removed can be banned from that dance and from all future GHS dances. Administrators will notify parents if their students have been kicked out of a dance.
If a large number of students are disobeying the new rules, administrators will stop the music and pause the dance. If students continue to dance inappropriately once the dance resumes, administrators can end the dance early.
Administrators drew up the new rules after students, parents and chaperones complained that dancers “grinding” disturbed them, Rogers said.
“Since we sent the letters out, we’ve received a number of e-mails and phone calls from parents thanking us for taking this stance,” he observed. “We’ve also received suggestions from students to hold themed dances and even offer dance instruction in styles like swing. I know that some students are upset with us, but I believe the majority agree with this action.”